Navigating the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) may seem like a challenge, but when everything is distilled down to basics, the major areas that need your attention are in fact few. Through our extensive experience in working with transitioning service providers in the ACT, RSM has identified five major obstacles to a successful transition.
1. Understanding Costs
It is not often the case that the revenue being lost through state block funding will exactly match the potential revenue to be gained from clients under the new fee-for-service model. Understanding your costs is critical to making the right pricing decisions when the time comes for you to decide. Knowing where your funding gaps are can help you divert important funds and resources into areas that matter most. With the help of a cost model, you will be able to see exactly where efficiency can be improved and cuts need to be made. Cost modelling is an invaluable tool to assist organisations in decision-making, and during these times of change, it is best to get the help of an expert to sweep every area of concern.
2. Getting Competitive
In the new world of the NDIS, becoming competitive starts with recognising the need for change at all levels of an organisation.The NDIS now brings “choice” to the market for consumers of your services.This means that there is increased pressure on organisations to have expertise in marketing and communications.Making sense of the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, and understanding the same for your own organisation, will help your organisation find a powerful value proposition that will provide a point of difference to your customers. Developing a marketing plan will benefit your business in both the long and short term, providing you with critical guidance in maintaining and increasing client numbers.
3. Supporting your workforce
In a challenging time of industry change, one of the most beneficial things that can be done is helping your workforce understand all the ways the NDIS will impact their work and their clients. The areas of workforce planning and change management become critical in this area as responsibilities and requirements shift. Organisations must make decisions in relation to changing job roles and responsibilities, and whether to shed or recruit staff. For the current staff in your employ, it also becomes important to manage their transition with the shift from a service delivery organisation to a customer centric organisation. The necessary support for your workforce is critical in ensuring that your staff will continue to work efficiently and productively. More than this, providing the right training and information is a must to ensure your workers will perform according to the new requirements placed on your organisation. Keeping open channels of communication is a useful strategy to help you with this requirement.
4. Transitioning your Clients to Customers
In the newly competitive operating environment, a customer retention strategy could help to ensure that you do not lose clients to competitors. A plan outlining strategies for communicating and listening to your customers, responding to their needs, upgrading your customer service processes and IT management, and having developing a customer service charter, can all help you manage the challenges and opportunities coming your way. Investing in supporting your clients now will ensure that you retain them as loyal and committed advocates for the future.
5. Systems and Processes
New invoicing and billing requirements under the NDIS is one of the biggest challenges faced by transitioning providers. Time-capture and integration with the NDIA payment portal are critical in ensuring an organisation gets timely payment. For many organisations, new accounting and financial management software and processes will likely be needed across areas such as payroll, time capture, invoicing, and bookkeeping. The solution for this problem can be found through making the required upgrades to an organisation’s ICT systems and processes. Each organisation faces vastly different needs when it comes to adopting a new systems solution. But with the right advice, upgrades can reduce administrative costs and greatly improve an organisation’s efficiency, while linking you to the NDIA and ensuring the organisation gets paid on time.
The 5 big obstacles of NDIS readiness are not insurmountable. When you’re making changes, just remember to be incremental and positive, and make sure you:
- Get an expert in to do your cost modelling
- Write a marketing plan highlighting your competitive advantage
- Assist your staff through transition
- Develop a client retention strategy
- Find the right advice in setting up your ICT systems and processes